Mai: Silently Mother
Author: Geetanjali Shree
Translator: Nita Kumar
Publisher: Niyogi Books (Pp 223, ISBN 978-81-933935-0-5, Rs 395)
Mai, the word itself brings out emotions. Mai or mother is someone who holds the entire family together, who sacrifices her life for her family and whose love has no bounds. But, she is also considered to be the weakest in the family, yet she often emerges as the strongest. The book looks at a family in a North Indian town, which is a joint family. Three generations of women and their men live different strategies of adjustment and achievement to accommodate patriarchy. At the centre is mai, the mother, seemingly weak and silent, but it is she who holds together the subtle patterns of relationships and agencies, and quietly carves out a life for herself as also for those around her. Her New Age children are obsessed with rescuing her from the ‘prison’ and escaping themselves; but as the story unfolds, any simplistic notion of bondage and freedom goes for a toss.
A beautiful tale of love and emotions, the author uses simple incidents from life, weaving together a story which will touch every heart. A must read book for all!
– Varsha Verma